Monday, May 10, 2010

Anxiety, Paralysis and Baby-Steps

I dislike confrontation. I have a passive bent. I have a house that needs to be sold. I spent chunks of time this week worrying about calling the realtor and the renter. Decisions would have to be made-would the renter freak out and move out? Is this a wise move in this economy? I found myself frozen in a ‘paralysis of analysis.’ Hesitant to move, I thought of the Israelites.

Pharaoh wakes after a bad nights’ sleep to find every firstborn mammal dead. In roiling anger, army in tow (six hundred select chariots and the second string chariots behind), he screams out after Moses. Fleeing at midnight Moses and company have already left town. As the Egyptians bear down on Israel they experience their own paralysis.

With the Egyptians behind and the sea in front Israel panics, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the Wilderness?” they say to Moses. Moses seems to stall out himself until God nudges him saying, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward.”

The sons of Israel had to begin moving before God ‘swept the sea back.’ The first guy in line placed his sandal in Red Sea sludge trusting the next step wouldn’t be his last.

That is what frees from paralysis. The first step sets in motion a series of events. Step-by-step as each step unfolds take the next step and “do the next right thing.”*

So the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea. The following morning Moses stretched out his hand and the sea returned to its normal state and the Egyptians were overthrown in the midst of the sea.

While life doesn’t guarantee us miraculous victories, we are promised wars in the wilderness. If we freeze and fret victory is impossible. Forging forward solidifies faith and allows God opportunity to guide.

“Remember that the shadow a thing casts often far exceeds the size of the thing itself (especially if the light be low on the horizon) and though some future fear may strut brave darkness as you approach, the thing itself will be but a speck when seen from beyond.”-Jim Elliot

*H/t New Life Ministries


Joshua Rogers said...

Well said. I like the quote, "Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there."

Anonymous said...

So, Monsieur Dillo--after having reflected on the Israelites and capturing the lesson of their story, what are you now going to do in your situation?


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